Welcome to The Garden Route, a world famous corridor on the western coast of South Africa just a few hours’ drive from Cape Town.
This scenic stretch, sandwiched between the Outeniqua & Tsitsikamma Mountains and Indian Ocean, offers a wonderful mix of dramatic mountains, flag-ship beaches, dappled forests, peaceful lagoons, rivers and lakes, not forgetting buzzing seaside towns.
An oceanic climate, with mild to warm summers and mild to cool winters, make it a wonderful all-year-round destination. According to the Guinness Book of Records, it has the mildest climate in South Africa and the second mildest climate in the world (after Hawaii). Winters rarely fall below 10°C and Summer’s rarely above 28°C. Rain occurs year-round, with a slight peak during the spring months.
The lush and ecologically diverse natural habitat is home to a prolific amount of creatures, both big and small. Nearly 300 species of bird are found in the fynbos, forests to wetlands.
Ten nature reserves embrace the varied ecosystems, whilst unique marine reserves provide a home to soft coral reefs, dolphins, seals and a host of other marine life. The endangered Southern Right & Humpback Whales frequent the bays in the Winter & Spring months (July – December), finding shelter to calve. Various malaria-free Game Reserves provide an opportunity for close encounters with Africa’s Big 5.
The Garden Route is absolute paradise for eco-lovers, bird watchers, adventure seekers, avid hikers and the likes. It’s the perfect place to escape on a romantic getaway, also a very popular local family holiday destination. It’s an ideal destination for any self-drive holiday thanks to the easy-to-navigate roads and short driving distances.
The dramatic Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma Mountains offer a unique mixture of Cape Fynbos and Temperate Forest, with their indigenous forests offering some of South Africa’s top hikes, namely the Otter, Tsitsikamma and Dolphin Trail.
While outdoor sports and activities take center stage on a Garden Route holiday, don’t forget that several of the country’s best golf courses are found here too! It’s the Golfing Mecca of South Africa, championship courses world-renown for the natural beauty you’re surrounded by.
Exciting family-friendly attractions can be found all along the way. These include Radical Raptures Birds of Prey Sanctuary, The Wolf Sanctuary, Knysna Elephant Park, Adventureland, Plett Puzzle Park, Birds of Eden and Monkeyland. Inland, Outshoorn is home to The Cango Caves, varied Ostrich Farms and Cango Wildlife Ranch (worth the visit even, if it’s just for a day trip!). Read our Garden Route for Families Blog for more.
An array of annual events fill the calendar. To name but a few: The famous Knysna Oyster Festival, KKNF (Klein Karoo National Kunstefees) held in Outshoorn, The Classic Car Show in Knysna, Mossel Bay’s Buffalo Motor Bike Ralley, The Stilbaai Easter Arts & Crafts Fair, The Sedgefield Slow Festival, The Knysna Pink Loerie Mardi Gras, Plettenberg Bay’s The Wedge Bodyboadarding Challenge, Knysna’s Cycle Tour, George’s Strawberry Festival…
When it comes to a place to rest your head after a most eventful day, Garden Route accommodation is plentiful. Expect to enjoy warm hospitality, great food and breathtaking views. Wherever you decide to stay, the warm Indian Ocean is always close by, and although this popular area is understandably busy during the peak December school holidays you can still escape the summer crowds with a walk along a deserted beach or forest trail in one of the nearby nature reserves.
Unsurprisingly, oysters, fresh linefish and shellfish feature prominently on most restaurant menus. The farms of the Little Karoo provide fresh ostrich meat and organic mutton or famed Karoo lamb. Route 62 is well known for producing some excellent brandies and ports.
The Garden Route area is one of the most popular holiday destinations for South Africans, also international visitors’ travelling from Cape Town to the neighboring Eastern Cape for a Big 5 Safari.
Trust our friendly experts in planning the perfect itinerary for you, organizing the right tours and booking the perfect accommodation all along the way. Enquire now!